A blog about making and doing with reference to the outside world. Activities in this blog are suitable for all ages and abilities, using recycled and natural materials readily available in most homes and gardens.
The season up to Christmas has been a bit confusing. We usually make plans to see family and friends months ahead, food, presents, journeys and gatherings have all been disrupted this year.
I had the opportunity of working with Nene Valley Primary School in Peterborough before the end of term. Staff were keen to learn and end the term with a positive project, we made lots of willow stars. It was so good to work face to face and the whole school were really enthusiastic, hoping to do more in 2021!
Every child in the school had a go and in total at least 320 were made!
Autumn, seasonal activites
This time of year an important part of the preparation for workshops and future making is harvesting willow, it is always good to see the health of the trees, how they have grown aver the year and make plans for new planting where there is space.
I am also usually busy with workshops and meeting lots of new students but this year of course is different. It’s good that a few places and organisations have decided to host workshops and I am really pleased to teach at Hills Road Sixth Form for adult education, and at Holkham Hall in Norfolk as part of their Christmas celebrations
I love to make to commission, it is always as a result of meeting people and learning about their homes or work places. Sculptures and baskets become part of other peoples lives and their story for many years to come. I am currently working on several that will be given as gifts by the purchasers, among them a bee for a beekeeper.
Open Windows July 2020
I am hosting Riverside Arts in Littleport. Sadly we cannot open our studio doors to the public this year so Cambridge Open Studios is taking place in windows. It is good to be working with friends and colleagues in a safe space, with beautiful work on display. Go here for more information about Riverside Arts and for #OpenWindows2020.
Find out more about this and the Littleport Labyrinth here
Outside:In ‘My Museum’
Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog
Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.
For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.
I have been so busy on other projects that posts for this have been neglected. What has been happening?
I wonder if you have planned to visit someone recently, or go to an event together? It can be a bit hard if you can’t do what you planned or what you usually do.
I often go to a museum with either family or friends at weekends or in holidays and we haven’t been able to do that for a long time so I had the idea of making our own.
There may be things in my house that are not in yours. Tools and materials for spinning and weaving, basketmaking and woodwork. So I have made a collection of some to share and show.
Wooden needles, bone needles, circular knitting tools, spindles and spinning wheel.
Fleece, flax and hemp fibres. Willow, in lots of different sizes and colours, including the bark taken form trees that I cut down.
I also have lots of photos and books that came from parents or grandparents or even further back. I put a collection together and tried to label them to share with younger family members so they know what these tools and items are and where they came from.
What might you make and what might it contain?
What is your favourite thing to look at or explore and play with?
Some of my family made their own ‘Cabinets of curiosity’ and together we made a museum that we could share online.
Ida is 8, she is making her cabinet about stories, myths and legends. It is going to take quite a long time. Her ideas are to share both modern and ancient myths and legends and make dolls to show what the characters look like.
Eben is 4, he made his cabinet from a cardboard box. It has doors and a tape round so people can’t touch fragile items. His museum is about butterflies, he had some dead ones, but didn’t want to catch more live ones, so he made some out of paper and coloured them.
Let’s share lots of pictures about how you have been learning recently, whether you are in your own garden or an open space near your home there is always lots to find.
There are resources on the Learning Through Landscapes website that you may not have used yet.
Watching what grows. I have left some area of grass to grow long this spring, at first because I wanted to make pathways for the Labyrinth. Now the grasses are showing all their different shapes and some wild flowers have grown that we didn’t know were there before.
So far I have counted 4 or five different grasses, there are native grasses in the UK… grown in the east of England, so this is a very limited range.
Cow parsley, or wild carrot – real name –
Daisy, or an older name is ‘Day’s Eye’ and often they are only open for one day.
Clover, both white and red
Thistle, there are lots of varieties of this. Some have a wonderful smell of honey and attract lots of different bees.
Here are some beautiful images of baskets made with willow by photographer Eloise Nurse, her website is here. The willow had been prepared for workshops, which were all postponed of course. I have enjoyed making some new shapes and thinking about new workshop projects, also making new local connections due to the restrictions. I am enjoying not travelling so far most days, and am planning some changes when restrictions are lifted. Watch this space!
In view of the current situation with the risk of virus spreading through events in public places workshops are cancelled or postponed until further notice. We will review and update the website when there is more information available.
I hope everyone is able to spend time making and enjoying a slower pace of life and maybe some time reading or learning something new at home.
Meanwhile I have been making baskets which will be on a new sales page, so come back and check them that out very soon!
I will be running workshops in Thetford Forest this August, working alongside The Studio who have put a lot of hard work into this venture and a series of workshops.
The lovely setting is The Dower Housetouring park. I intend to camp if the weather is good and spend some time getting to know the area and Thetford Forest.
The Studio is part of a young company changing ideas of what happens in the forest ad what people do there!
The Little White Lamb Company is finalist in the Countryside Alliance awards and has been put forward for The Clarissa Dickson Wright Award. This is a huge achievement and I am very proud to be linked with them as a company.
The Library Presents spring seasonof workshops has been published.I will be teaching small scale willow sculpture to a wide range of ages and abilities. Children under 12 years need to work with an adult on collaborative projects. It’s a great opportunity to spend time together learning something new.
For details of all workshops times, dates and venues Go here
Hearts and Flowers for Valentines or Mothers Day
A possible new workshop if you book soon as a host or participant dates to be arranged. You can also arrange for gift tokens to be sent in advance
Be ready for a Celebration Day in the Fens, June 20th 2020
Fascinating Fens are coordinating community events, see https://fascinatingfens.com/blog/.
If you are interested contact them here https://fascinatingfens.com/contact/
Please note change of date for the Easter baskets and bird sculptures workshop at WWT Welney, now happening on March 28th
2019 has been a busy year of workshop activities. Some new techniques shared and discovered both by students and by me. I am looking forward to more if the same in 2020, maybe with longer courses or more one to one teaching sessions, so students have opportunity to learn more about both maintaining and growing willow, to make their own work. If you are interested in this, go to the workshop selection page.
Willow workshops selection and feedback
News, updates and information
FrostArt workshops now has online booking and payments available. I am so excited about this and you may have been waiting a while for it to happen!
Workshop dates at WWT Welney are currently available on the Bookings page
Make a choice from the survey for the workshop selection I look forward to working with you very soon.
Hosting willow workshops – if you or your organisation would like to host workshops please go to Host page
If you have any queries or there are problems with your bookings please contact me
If you are thinking about coming to a workshop and would like to see what people say about their experience please go here
Making in the Museum
One of the best places to source willow in the Fens is Holt Island, St Ives. Very close by is The Norris Museum where I will be teaching how to make plant supports for gardens in the area. This workshop is for both beginners and those who have made with willow previously.
There are a few places still available for the last workshop of the season on April 6th at WWT Welney. I hope students will be ambitious, making sculptures and items for the garden. Look out for next seasons dates very soon!
Holt Island Heritage Open Weekend
Sunday 16th September I will be taking part in Holt Island Heritage weekend, St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Hoping for good weather and lots of meetings with basketmakers and answering questions from potential basketmakers and maybe do some basketmaking. There will be workshop booking forms and items for sale.
The Greenhouse workshop in the Bishops Garden, Ely will be open on June 10th 2p.m. – 6p.m. as part of the NGA Open Garden Scheme, come and see what is made here, there will be items for sale or to commission and details of next seasons workshops. Click on the link for more information about the garden
New shapes for the new season
Come and learn how to make random weave baskets as a spring container. They can be tricky to make, but are great containers in a variety of sizes. Good for collecting fruit or holding balls of wool, or maybe even Easter Eggs. In fact they can hold almost anything you can think of!
Family workshop making Christmas Decorations
A family workshop at WWT Welney making Christmas Decorations.
Grandchildren, parents and grandparent each made their own and learned a lot, shared ideas and discovered that sometimes the grown ups are not the best learners. They had lots of fun doing it.
This interview took place after ReCreation workshops. These workshops are a combination of shared skills between practitioners, while encouraging participants of all ages to experiment and find new ways to express faith through imagery and manipulating new materials.
The whole school took part, everyone learned how to manipulate willow. we are all very proud of the result!
Book Willow Workshops
Book group workshops or one to one sessions on dates and venues of your choice, please go here for more information. I have experience of leading workshops in a variety of settings both in UK and abroad with people of all ages and abilities.
Booking requirement for all workshops is by full payment at least 7 days in advance of the workshop date.
Make cheques payable to: Jane Frost
Send payment to:
32 Woodfen Road,
Gift tokens are available for special events, please contact me for details
PLEASE NOTE: Fees will be returned if cancellations are due to essential causes. £25 WILL BE RETAINED if cancellation is for any other reason.
WWT Welney beginners workshop
At the Beginners workshop everyone learns a few basic techniques, then make items of their choice. Participants are always ambitious, and always take home items they are happy to display either indoors or outside.
Welney RUG Opening Day
Welney RUG Opening day. Students of all ages came to learn how to make willow items at the opening of Sandgate Meadow, Welney
WWT Welney Hides
Willow hides commissioned for the reserve at WWT Welney
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